Then you’ve been weighing yourself. STOP THAT!!! Sit down, let me give you a pep talk.
I lived in a constant state of yoyo dieting for more than a decade. Starting around age 13, if I wasn’t actively on a diet, I was planning the next one — and always, always living in fear of the next binge.
Why? Because that’s just how life was, I thought. Everyone was on a diet. If you weren’t rail thin, you better be actively fighting to get that way. Everyone was in a battle against “cravings” and “portions” and “smart choices” and “guilty pleasures.”
But here’s the thing: dieting is just marketing. It’s the work of sneaky ad men across the course of a century who made body-hating a ridiculously profitable commodity that hides behind the guise of “health and wellness.”
So let’s rage against the diet machine, shall we? These are things I needed to hear back in those days, and maybe you need to hear them too:
- Scales are bullshit. They were invented as a novelty item, then cleverly pushed into our daily lives by as men, not medical professionals. Scales can’t tell you your blood pressure or your lung capacity or your white blood cell count. Scales don’t help you monitor your health any more than Skittles help you taste the rainbow.
- Weights are bullshit. Your weight on a scale gives you very, very little insight. Notice how your doctor only weighs you once a year? That’s because little fluctuations don’t matter. If your medical professional only checks in yearly, what do you think you’re accomplishing with the daily weigh-in? Out-doctoring the doctor?
- Goal weights are bullshit. Did you get to choose your height? Of course not, and you don’t get to pick your weight, either. Why do you need a goal weight, anyway? So you can better determine when you are worthy of happiness? I’ve adopted the motto “My weight is none of my business” and my life is so much richer for it.
- Diets are bullshit. Diets don’t work. You may have heard that from Weight Watchers! And guess what, Weight Watchers doesn’t work either, but they’re not mad about it, because that means more customers. WW even brags about their “consistent pattern of repeatment enrollment.”
- Diet culture is bullshit. Think about all the time you’ve spent comparing your body to someone else’s. Think of all the magazines that show you all the things that are wrong with your body, from Seventeen to Cosmopolitan to Redbook. Think of all the times you’ve felt you needed to apologize for eating. Think of all the times you have punished your body for refusing to look like other bodies. Think of all your friends who hate their bodies too. That’s diet culture. All of that. You didn’t come out of the womb this way. You learned it from our body-obsessed culture. It is ridiculous, and it is everywhere, and the sooner you become aware of how insidious these messages are, the sooner you can begin rejecting them. Body acceptance is a forcefield against diet culture bullshit.